Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tips for Bringing a New Cat or Kitten Home

Bringing a new cat or kitten home is exciting! However, what some new pet parents don't realize is that the new kitten or cat often needs time to adjust to his or her new home. Using these tips may help your new pet adjust to your home.

Coming Home: When you pick up your new feline from your shelter, adoption center, or breeder, have a carrier ready to take him or her home in. Most shelters and adoption centers will provide cardboard carriers for you to take home your new kitten or cat. Take your new pet directly from the shelter, adoption center, or breeder to your home. Do not stop and visit with anyone else or stop to go shopping. It is always dangerous to leave a kitten or cat in a car alone due to temperatures inside the car at any time of year. Therefore, purchase everything you need for a new cat or kitten ahead of time, if you don't already have a resident cat at home. In addition, if you have children, do not allow them to take your feline out of the carrier while you are in the car. Cats are almost always afraid to ride in the car, and taking your pet out will only cause chaos and more trauma for him or her.

Preparing a Place: New felines tend to be very nervous in new surroundings; moving from one home to another or from the shelter or adoption center to a home is very stressful for them. Thus, it is a great idea to set up a special quiet place for your new pet. This could be a spare room or in your bedroom, for instance. This space should contain a litterbox, food, water, toys, and a comfortable place for your cat to sleep, like a cat bed.

Be Patient: New feline owners must realize that when a cat moves into a new (or different, if previously owned) forever home, he or she needs time to adjust to his or her surroundings. Give your cat at least one month to adjust to your home. If he or she is hiding, simply let him or her be until your pet is ready to come out and explore. However, if your feline isn't drinking, eating, or toileting, it is time to call or visit your veterinarian.

Spend Time With Your New Feline: It is advisable to get your cat or kitten on a day when you can be at home with him or her, such as a weekend. Once you take your new feline out of his or her carrier, immediately show him or her where the litterbox is and provide a bowl of water. PAWS recommends waiting an hour to provide your new companion food.

Throughout the day, spend a lot of time with your new pet, talking calmly and softly to him or her and playing if he or she is interested in doing so. Supervise all visits children have with your new companion and remind them to treat the kitty with tenderness. PAWS also advises keeping children's visits to a minimum as to not overwhelm your new furry friend.

It is also common for felines to exhibit behavior problems in the first few days or weeks after moving into a new home. These problems often go away as your new pet adjusts to your home. Remember to give your kitty a month to adjust to your home before becoming concerned about any behavioral issues. If your pet is still exhibiting behavior problems after a month has passed, your veterinarian or vet behaviorist should be able to help you and your cat through the problem.

Additionally, it is quite common for a cat or kitten to hide in his or her new environment or for adult cats to jump up onto high furniture. Don't panic if your new cat or kitten does this. He or she will come out of hiding or down from the furniture when he or she is ready. Simply continue to talk calmly and gently to your feline.

Finally, find out what type of litter and food your cat or kitten was using before you bring him or her home. Continue to utilize the same litter and food your kitty was using previously to decrease the number of changes your new companion must cope with at once.

Bringing a new feline into your home is certainly exciting. Following these tips and being patient with your new companion will help you develop a loving, lasting bond with him or her.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for spreading the word about how to introduce a cat/kitten to a new home. Cats needs to be understood and I truly appreciate any individual who takes the trouble to shine light on their needs. Cats have taught me so much throughout my life and I'm still learning.